Thursday, 20 July 2017

Belfast WOW

Back at WOW after three weeks to find dropping water levels and even more gull and tern chicks. Again we had over 30 species including common sandpiper and little egret. The Mediterranean gulls have moved off the island and can turn up anywhere on the reserve. At one point we saw three but a passing black back put everything up and we lost them. This happened several times, mainly with lesser black-backs but also with hooded crows and buzzard. The hoodies work in pairs, one comes in and everything lifts up to give chase, meanwhile the second one flies in behind looking for a snack in the now unguarded nests. Fortunately they have not been overly successful as the vegetation is now about two feet high and the chicks are well hidden. The estimate is at least 250 tern nests on the reserve.
Med gull
Common sandpiper

199: Black-necked grebe
Bangor West
66: Raven
Belfast WOW
89: Little egret

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